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The Exorcist Read...Discuss...Repeat!
October 2008 Selection: The Exorcist
By: William Peter Blatty
Copyright: 1971


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About the Book:

This unstoppable publishing phenomenon was the inspiration behind one of the most successful horror movies of all time. A powerful presence has taken possession of the 12-year-old daughter of a film star. The ensuing battle between a doubt-ridden priest and the unspeakable horror within the girl is a classic war of good versus evil.

William Peter Blatty's chilling and disturbing novel was a publishing phenomenon when it first came out in 1971. Basing his novel on extensive evidence from a true story of a young child's demonic possesion in the 1940s, Blatty touched a raw nerve in readers.

Thought a simple and straightforward story, The Exorcist is filled with multi-shaded characters and occasionally shocking language and situations. Regan is a 11-year-old girl, the daughter of a renowned actress in Washington D.C. The child appears to be possessed by an ancient demon. The main thrust of the novel is the efforts on the part of conflicted priests and other experts to rescue the defenseless girl from the abuses being inflicted on her externally and internally by her possession. The interactions and relationship stresses placed on all the primary characters are intense, as they deal with horrors beyond imagination that reverberate throughout their lives.

Blatty wrote the screenplay for the 1973 smash hit film adaptation of his own novel. He also came out with a sequel, Legion, in 1983, to much less critical and reader acclaim.

Related Web sites:

Wikipedia entry on the novel The Exorcist

Wikipedia entry on William Peter Blatty

www.theninthconfiguration.com -- site dedicated to the works of William Peter Blatty

Article at StrangeMag.com about case that inspired The Exorcist

Internet Movie Database page for the 1973 film The Exorcist

Official Warner Brothers site for rerelease of The Exorcist


If You Like The Exorcist, Try:

The Exorcist
1973 Movie Version [on DVD]

The Devil's Labyrinth
By: John Saul. 2007.

The Amityville Horror
By: Jay Anson. 1977.

House of Leaves
By: Mark Danielewski. 2000.

The Relic
By: Douglas Preston. 1995.

The Ruins
By: Scott Smith. 2006.

Son of the Endless Night
By: John Farris. 1985.


The Exorcist Reader Comments:

Extremely creepy book, but still very compelling. I read it after seeing the movie, and honestly, I think the book is better than the film.

-- Dave M.
patron of Bethany Branch Library.
Customer Review Score - 8

A little too intense for my tastes, but very strong characterizations.

-- Shannon R.
patron of Walt Branch Library.
Customer Review Score - 7

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